First real day of orientation was today! I’m getting really excited to get to our homestays and in our schools. It’s going to be exhausting though… We teach 90-135 minute classes and for 25 hours a week. Plus they only have English class once a week, so that’s going to be A LOT of students to remember! But we’ve all been sharing ideas for activities and games to play with the students and a few us of made plans to exchange emails and share anything we come up with once we’re separated. It’s going to be SO helpful to have this network of other volunteers spread out over the country. For travel reasons too! One of my roommates in my hostel room is going to be living in the extreme south, so I definitely want to find out details when we meet up again so I can plan my trip there! Also found out that it’s super expensive to get to Easter Island… so I don’t know if that’s going to happen, but we’ll see.

Other cultural lessons… We learned that Chileans love to stay out late. They will start BBQs around 11pm and go until 4 or 5 in the morning! Calling it an early night is around 2 or 3… even during the week. That should be interesting! Apparently we will be invited to many many BBQs because we’re the special gringos and they love to invite us to things, which is good because the main meal is lunch… Dinner and breakfast barely exist. Mostly only bread for those!

After the day, my friend Tereza and I went out looking for ethernet plugs, which was QUITE the experience. For one, Santiago at night is beautiful. Sorry I haven’t figured out to take pictures at night. There also are a million stores in the area we went to… All small stores that are selling the same thing as the store about 5 doors down. We went to a few electronic stores and none of them had the internet cable, and finally found this random place that did. I successfully was able to ask for the cable, just wasn’t much use once it went further than necesito un cable de ret. haha. It turns out that they put the cable together for you. You tell them the length you want, they cut it, and then put the plastic ends on the wires. Definitely wasn’t expecting that. Then I got taken advantage of for my poor Spanish… We had been talking with the store clerks for a bit about where we were from, why we were in Santiago, etc. but then the guy asked me – te gustas chicos chileanos? or something along those lines. But since their Spanish is so fast, I only caught Te gustas Chile? or so I thought, so I said Sí!! Basically he asked if I liked Chilean men. haha.

Did I mention already that there are stray dogs everywhere? I just want to go up to all of them… but I can’t. But they are EVERYWHERE… as well as their poop which I forget to watch out for when walking.

That’s about it… Just learning more about the program, learning Spanish, and meeting more people! I think it’s so amazing how many places people are from. Today I met someone from Dubai, Trinidad and Tobago, Germany, New Zealand… on top of the others from Czech, Australia, the UK… Also random interesting fact I learned today, Germany used to provide free education THROUGH college and only recently started charging 500-1000 euros per semester, and it’s very controversal since people were used to receiving it for free. And I learned that you aren’t supposed to recycle plastic bottles with the lids on. If you leave the lid on, they don’t take the time to separate it, they just throw it in the garbage. That’s news to me! I don’t know if it’s just me that didn’t know that, but there has to be a lot of recycled items that never end up actually being recycled.

Oh last thing about learning Spanish. 1. I’m better than I thought! Just too nervous to practice. I started off in the Basico class but was able to switch into Intermedio. Yay for that. 2. We were doing introductions and practicing descriptions and I ended up being chosen to go to the front of the class to be asked questions. So it was things like, Mi nombre es Whitney. Soy de Wisconsin en los Estados Unidos. Estoy in Santiago. Soy simpatica, baja y joven…. but then we had just been learning how to say boyfriend or girlfriend in Chilean spanish and it is pololo or polola. So the teacher joked around with us and asked ¿Tienes un pololo? and I said No, then he asked ¿Tienes un pololo chileano? and I said Sí! He asked when I got here, and I said Ayer, domingo… yesterday… Es lunes!!! (It’s Monday!) I’m funny in Spanish. haha.

Time to grab dinner.

¡Chao! (Guess I spelled it wrong yesterday haha)


One thought on “Orientation

  1. Yay Whitney! It sounds like so much fun! I cannot wait to hear more of your adventures… it’s so easy when buying lunch is way outside of your regular norm!

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